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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva announced the appointment of David Beasley of the United States as Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), at the Under-Secretary-General level, in succession to Ertharin Cousin of the United States. The Executive Board of WFP has confirmed its concurrence with the appointment.
The Secretary-General and Director-General expressed their appreciation to Ertharin Cousin for her leadership of WFP over the last five years. She has led the Programme during an unprecedented time of multiple humanitarian crises, leveraging partnerships and innovative tools to reach those furthest behind. Both wish her every success in her continuing endeavors.
David Beasley brings to the position extensive experience with key governmental and business leaders and stakeholders around the world, with very strong resource mobilisation skills. He was elected at the age of 21 to the South Carolina House of Representatives (1979-1992) and Governor of South Carolina (1995-1999), as one of the youngest in the State's history. During his term, he led delegations on economic development and trade missions to countries throughout Asia, Europe and Africa, tripling foreign investment and creating jobs. He received a Profile in Courage Award in 2003 from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
A 1999 Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and Partner in the law firm, Beasley, Ervin and Warr, he served as Senior Adviser to companies such as Merrill Lynch and General Motors. Since leaving office, he has travelled to more than seventy-five countries and war-stricken regions such as Kosovo, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, South Sudan and the Middle East leading peace-building missions and development efforts through working with foreign leaders. He is also involved in numerous civic and charitable projects, including humanitarian efforts in Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.
Born in 1957, he attended Clemson University and holds a JD from the University of South Carolina and a BA Law Degree from the University of South Carolina School Of Law.